Tuesday, August 31, 2004

The Bottom Of The Barrell

I’ve put up my “Elite 8”. I’ve put up my “non-BCS teams to watch”. Now, here is a look at the teams you DON’T want to watch. The worst of the worst. Programs that may wish to be back in Division II or just plain out of site.

BUFFALO BULLS. In 3 years at Buffalo, coach Jim Hofher has a robust 5-30 mark. They finished 1-11 last year…with their only win against 2-10 Ohio. They had losses to Rutgers and Colgate [yeah, Colgate…and at home] and had scores of 56-7, 38-7, 56-29, 40-9 and 59-3 dropped on them last year. The team revamped its coaching staff…but just doesn’t have the talent to compete with the better teams of the MAC.

IDAHO VANDALS. If you didn’t know, they play in the “Sun Belt Conference”….and a barn fro a stadium [there are basketball teams who play in a bigger arena. Troy State, which is in Alabama, is a conference foe. The team is bad…just not orca-bad. The offense did put up big numbers last year…and they did finish with a 3-4 conference mark. The defense, is horrendous…but getting better. They did lose 9 games last year….but played hard in most of them. They played well in a 24-10 loss to Boise State….and lost by a mere 10 to conference champion North Texas. So there is improvement. The problem is that they must play AT Boise State, Oregon and Hawaii in non-conference….plus play North Texas and Troy State….the top two Sun Belt teams….on the road. BTW, Joey Harrington’s brother, Michael, is the starting QB.

SAN JOSE STATE SPARTANS. I will say this, I will always remember the Spartans for the game, last year, in which the kid with the prosthetic leg came out on a punt team. I don’t think I’ll ever forget the emotion of that game. But, this year’s team will be bad. Only TWO offensive starters return…and the replacements everywhere else are untested from a team that won only 3 games last year [and one was over Grambling]. Defensively….ugh. They gave up 41 to Fresno and UTEP, 42 to Nevada, 65 to Florida and 77 to Boise State. They only have 5 home games….with MORGAN STATE as one of them??? They have roadies at Washington, Stanford and SDSU to top it off.

ARMY CADETS. I will say this, Bobby Ross may get Army back to respectability. Army has lost 15 in a row, the longest losing streak in the nation. The Cadets are undersized and slow compared to everyone else they play. Not to mention, the team ran an all-out passing offense last year….and this year they want a ball-control team. This will be the final year Army gets slapped around before going back to being Independent next year. They have every opportunity to possibly pull an upset before bouncing out of C-USA play. They have Louisville, Cincinnati, TCU, Air Force and UAB at home this year.

TEMPLE OWLS. Well, soon the pain will be over….as they will bolt the Big East and, like Army, will go back to being an Independent. At least this year, no more Miami or Virginia Tech. But, hello the rest of the Big East which still plans on stepping all over the Owls. And, with one less conference game, Temple adds another team that just wants that easy win. Virginia, Maryland, Toledo and Bowling Green….all bowl quality teams….are on the sked. Not to mention the Florida A&M Rattlers….who should send the Owls fans hope unhappy. If you need a reason to watch Temple…do it for the receiver named “Ikey Chuku”. Classic!

DUKE BLUE DEVILS. To be fair, I’ll put at least one team from a name conference on here. The worst team in a true-BCS conference is Duke. Roof is in his first full year…which saw him win 2 of the final 3 games on 2003, including beating rival North Carolina in Chapel Hill and a big upset over Georgia Tech. But, the ACC has become arguably the top football conference this year….and Duke isn’t ready to handle that. They, again, schedule nobodies out-of-conference [Navy, Connecticut and Citadel] to get their opportunities for wins. They miss out on Miami….but get Florida State, Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech on the road….with Maryland, Virginia and Clemson coming to Durham. The offensive line is totally new…which isn’t good since the ACC features some of the top D-lines in the country.

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